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Portuguese Roast Turkey


1 (10-lb) fresh turkey
2 lb Coarse (kosher) salt
1/4 lb Unsalted butter
3 tb Olive oil
2 lg Garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 lb French or Italian bread
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 c Chicken stock
2 lg Egg yolks


REMOVE THE GIBLETS from the turkey for another use.

Fill the neck and body cavities of the turkey with coarse salt, then rub the skin well all over with salt. Place the turkey and remaining coarse salt in a large deep kettle, adding enough cold water to just cover the bird. Set in a cool spot for 3 to 4 hours.

TO PREPARE THE STUFFING: Put the butter and olive oil in a large heavy sauté pan, or better yet, a kettle, and place it over moderate heat. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until limp.

Meanwhile, tear the bread into small chunks. Add the bread and the fine salt and pepper and toss well. Pour in the chicken stock and beat hard with a wooden spoon until the mixture is paste like. Turn the heat to its lowest point, cover the kettle and steam 15-to-20 minutes until the bread absorbs all the liquid.

Add the egg yolks to the stuffing mixture and beat hard until smooth. Remove from the heat and reserve. Preheat oven to 400F.

Drain the turkey and rinse several times in cool water so that all traces of salt are gone. Place the bird on the counter with the neck cavity facing you. With your hands, begin working the skin free from the breast.

Proceed gently, taking care not to tear the skin. It's slow going at first, but once you begin to free the skin, the job goes quickly. Loosen it all the way down the bird to within about 1 inch of the tail end, down both sides.

With your hands, push the stuffing bit by bit far down under the skin and continue, packing it in lightly, until the breast is covered with about a 1-inch layer.

Next fill the neck cavity, skewer the neck skin flat against the back to enclose and truss the bird. Place the turkey breast-side up in a large shallow roasting pan without a rack and roast uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours. Do not baste.

When the bird is richly browned and a leg moves easily in the hip joint, remove from the oven. Let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Drain drippings into a sauce boat and keep warm. Remove trussing string and skewers and serve at once on a warmed platter.

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